YAM Notes: January/February 2014

By Marty Snapp

Rick Luis and his wife Nita were flying home to Minneapolis last July after a business trip to upstate New York when they spotted a burly, 70-plus-year-old man with black hair (dyed), a stunning woman at least 25 years his junior, a teenage boy, and a college-age girl seated two rows ahead of them.

“All went routinely until I came down the aisle past them an hour before landing, and locked onto the man’s face,” says Rick. “Without a doubt, it was Pete Rose!

“I instantly put it together: This was Hall of Fame weekend at Cooperstown, and he and his current family were coming back from the national shrine that likely will never admit him. But I love sports and idolize the greats, so I shamelessly pulled out a legal pad and approached him for an autograph, which he signed freely, ‘To Rick—A great fan!! Pete Rose #4256.’ That’s his hits total, and his recording of it suggests Pete Rose’s ego is intact.

“So is his memory. When I told him I saw him get the first hit ever (1982) at Minnesota’s Metrodome, he immediately asked me who threw the pitch. It was Pete Redfern, and I had forgotten, but he hadn’t. I wished him well on making it into the Hall during his lifetime, and we parted with a handshake. Rose’s forearm could pass for Popeye’s.”

Rose may not be in the Baseball Hall yet, but Ned Flynn has been inducted into the American License Plate Collectors Association Hall of Fame. In addition to being an avid collector himself, he’s been the group’s lawyer since 1979. “Ned is a great guy, a good collector, and a true booster and builder of the club,” says the group’s president. “Ned has been by our side and at our backs throughout, in situation after situation, always providing wise and steady counsel, supplying a service that is vital to managing a corporation like ALPCA. But he has always been in the background of things, never complaining, never seeking credit or recognition, and, best of all—never billing!”

Meanwhile, Bill Popik beat 1,700 other entries to win first place in the Washington Post’s 2013 Travel Photo Contest. Bill’s winning photo was a mysteriously alluring (in the Post’s words) portrait of a young woman from the Himba tribe of Namibia that he snapped on a picture-taking trip in July.

Peter Gilkey has been named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society for his body of work over his entire career. “I am a full professor of mathematics at the University of Oregon and, at age 67, have no particular intention of retiring anytime soon,” he says. “My latest book, Applications of Affine and Weyl Geometry (a joint work with Eduardo Garcia-Rio, Stana Nikcevic, and Ramon Vazquez-Lorenzo), is in the final production process. As a research monograph, it is unlikely to make the New York Times bestseller list, but it was fun writing.”

Dan Crean was honored by the International Municipal Lawyers Association at its annual conference in Austin, Texas, as the 2012–13 recipient of the William Thornton IMLA Faculty Award. The honor, named for one of the revered icons of continuing legal education for local government lawyers, is presented to a municipal lawyer “who has provided outstanding service to the public and who possesses an exemplary reputation in the legal community, the highest of ethical standards, and who is devoted to mentoring young lawyers and educating lawyers in local government law.” Dan also was designated an IMLA Fellow at the October IMLA conference.

“IMLA is truly a great organization,” says Dan. “It is not too often that I am at a loss for words, but to receive an honor from one’s peers—particularly from members of an organization whose members truly know the meaning of ‘public service’—was truly overwhelming. On another note (pun intended), I continue to write program notes for the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, which I cofounded in 1994 and is currently in its 19th season, performing at a level far above what might be expected in a small state like New Hampshire.”

Dave Richards’s mammoth Rudyard Kipling bibliography has been nominated for the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers’ prestigious Breslauer Award. “No native English speaker judges, so I am probably toast; but it’s nice to be in the mix,” says Dave. “To be entirely professional about it: WOO-HOO!!”

Bill Brewster drove up from the San Francisco Bay Area to Zillah, Washington, to visit Anne and Terry Harrison and check out their winery, Knight Hill Winery. “They happen to have a blended red wine which won a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition last January,” says Bill. “Also, Jay Causey flew in from Seattle and Jack Finnell flew in from Newport Beach to stay with me in Orinda. We drove up to Napa to visit Jan Krupp at his Krupp Brothers Winery. As you know, it was Jan’s wine that was featured at our 45th reunion dinner. All in all, you would have to say that our class is well represented in the wine industry.” (You can view Terry’s website at knighthillwinery.com and Jan’s website at kruppbrothers.com.)

Finally, I decided to have surgery on my nose (no, not a nose job) in November, so naturally I went to the best ENT specialist in town: Dr. Tsuan Li of Oakland. He examined me for a few minutes, then sat down to write some notes on the chart. To pass the time, I showed his nurse the latest pictures of my two cats.

“They’re really cute,” she said. “What are their names?” “Pepe and Sally,” I replied. At that, Dr. Li’s head suddenly jerked up. “You went to Yale?” he said.

Turns out he lived in Davenport, Class of ’81. And for the next half hour, the poor nurse had to pretend to be interested while he and I rapturously reminisced about the pizza at Wooster Square.